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Types of Relations

1. Reflexive Relation: A relation R on set A is said to be a reflexive if (a, a) ∈ R for every a ∈ A.

Example: If A = {1, 2, 3, 4} then R = {(1, 1) (2, 2), (1, 3), (2, 4), (3, 3), (3, 4), (4, 4)}. Is a relation reflexive?

Solution: The relation is reflexive as for every a ∈ A. (a, a) ∈ R, i.e. (1, 1), (2, 2), (3, 3), (4, 4) ∈ R.

2. Irreflexive Relation: A relation R on set A is said to be irreflexive if (a, a) ∉ R for every a ∈ A.

Example: Let A = {1, 2, 3} and R = {(1, 2), (2, 2), (3, 1), (1, 3)}. Is the relation R reflexive or irreflexive?

Solution: The relation R is not reflexive as for every a ∈ A, (a, a) ∉ R, i.e., (1, 1) and (3, 3) ∉ R. The relation R is not irreflexive as (a, a) ∉ R, for some a ∈ A, i.e., (2, 2) ∈ R.

3. Symmetric Relation: A relation R on set A is said to be symmetric iff (a, b) ∈ R ⟺ (b, a) ∈ R.

Example: Let A = {1, 2, 3} and R = {(1, 1), (2, 2), (1, 2), (2, 1), (2, 3), (3, 2)}. Is a relation R symmetric or not?

Solution: The relation is symmetric as for every (a, b) ∈ R, we have (b, a) ∈ R, i.e., (1, 2), (2, 1), (2, 3), (3, 2) ∈ R but not reflexive because (3, 3) ∉ R.

Example of Symmetric Relation:

  1. Relation ⊥r is symmetric since a line a is ⊥r to b, then b is ⊥r to a.
  2. Also, Parallel is symmetric, since if a line a is ∥ to b then b is also ∥ to a.

Antisymmetric Relation: A relation R on a set A is antisymmetric iff (a, b) ∈ R and (b, a) ∈ R then a = b.

Example1: Let A = {1, 2, 3} and R = {(1, 1), (2, 2)}. Is the relation R antisymmetric?

Solution: The relation R is antisymmetric as a = b when (a, b) and (b, a) both belong to R.

Example2: Let A = {4, 5, 6} and R = {(4, 4), (4, 5), (5, 4), (5, 6), (4, 6)}. Is the relation R antisymmetric?

Solution: The relation R is not antisymmetric as 4 ≠ 5 but (4, 5) and (5, 4) both belong to R.

5. Asymmetric Relation: A relation R on a set A is called an Asymmetric Relation if for every (a, b) ∈ R implies that (b, a) does not belong to R.

6. Transitive Relations: A Relation R on set A is said to be transitive iff (a, b) ∈ R and (b, c) ∈ R ⟺ (a, c) ∈ R.

Example1: Let A = {1, 2, 3} and R = {(1, 2), (2, 1), (1, 1), (2, 2)}. Is the relation transitive?

Solution: The relation R is transitive as for every (a, b) (b, c) belong to R, we have (a, c) ∈ R i.e, (1, 2) (2, 1) ∈ R ⇒ (1, 1) ∈ R.

Note1: The Relation ≤, ⊆ and / are transitive, i.e., a ≤ b, b ≤ c then a ≤ c
(ii) Let a ⊆ b, b ⊆ c then a ⊆ c
(iii) Let a/b, b/c then a/c.

Note2: ⊥r is not transitive since a ⊥r b, b ⊥r c then it is not true that a ⊥r c. Since no line is ∥ to itself, we can have a ∥ b, b ∥ a but a ∦ a.
Thus ∥ is not transitive, but it will be transitive in the plane.

7. Identity Relation: Identity relation I on set A is reflexive, transitive and symmetric. So identity relation I is an Equivalence Relation.

Example: A= {1, 2, 3} = {(1, 1), (2, 2), (3, 3)}

8. Void Relation: It is given by R: A →B such that R = ∅ (⊆ A x B) is a null relation. Void Relation R = ∅ is symmetric and transitive but not reflexive.

9. Universal Relation: A relation R: A →B such that R = A x B (⊆ A x B) is a universal relation. Universal Relation from A →B is reflexive, symmetric and transitive. So this is an equivalence relation.






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